Learn the Old Ways

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HAPPYDAN
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:49 am

Learn the Old Ways

Postby HAPPYDAN » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:54 am

With the wonder of GPS, in-cockpit and hand-held devices, aspiring pilots often ask, "Why learn archaic, imprecise methods of navigation like pilotage and dead reckoning?" Instructors usually come back with something like "What if GPS fails?" Many have used GPS navigation exclusively for years now, and few, if any, failures have been reported. That's good. But here's a new twist I recently became aware of:

https://phys.org/news/2015-01-space-deb ... bital.html

Could space junk knock out GPS satellites? Yup. Will it? Maybe. As the problem grows worse, the likelihood increases. So pack that paper sectional, and brush up on that magnetic compass. You might need it.

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Half Fast
Posts: 261
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Location: Central Florida

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby Half Fast » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:27 pm

I suspect that the odds of a bird strike knocking off your GPS antenna are much higher and that would be more serious, since space debris won't knock out all satellites simultaneously even if a collision does happen.
1/2
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I dream of a world where chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned.

Warmi
Posts: 618
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby Warmi » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:36 pm

It is easy to have more than 1 GPS receiver in a cockpit . Without much trying I have already 3 by my last account, so a bird strike on the external antenna would be just an annoyance ... on the other hand space junk knocking out satellites would be a lot more "comprehensive" failure mode , although odds of that happening are so remote...
If anything ever gets me in trouble while up there , it will most likely be of my own doing :D
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

TimTaylor
Posts: 848
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby TimTaylor » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:48 pm

When I fly the SkyCatcher I have a Garmin G300, Stratux with GPS and AHRS, iPad with GPS, and iPhone with GPS. My iPad has iFly GPS, Aerovie, WingX Pro 7, and FltPlan Go. My iPhone has iFly and Aerovie. I now fly daytime VFR only, and I learned to fly 53 years ago when we barely had one coffee grinder VOR and a sectional. I worry more about things such as an engine failure. I do think it might be a good idea to turn off the GPS once in a while and navigate via pilotage. It can be fun also.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

Wm.Ince
Posts: 726
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:27 pm
Location: Clearwater, FL

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby Wm.Ince » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:35 pm

TimTaylor wrote:. . . " I do think it might be a good idea to turn off the GPS once in a while and navigate via pilotage. It can be fun also."

"East is least . . and West is best." 8)
Bill Ince
CTSW
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

dogugotw
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:21 pm

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby dogugotw » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:09 pm

HAPPYDAN wrote:With the wonder of GPS, in-cockpit and hand-held devices, aspiring pilots often ask, "Why learn archaic, imprecise methods of navigation like pilotage and dead reckoning?" Instructors usually come back with something like "What if GPS fails?" Many have used GPS navigation exclusively for years now, and few, if any, failures have been reported. That's good. But here's a new twist I recently became aware of:

https://phys.org/news/2015-01-space-deb ... bital.html

Could space junk knock out GPS satellites? Yup. Will it? Maybe. As the problem grows worse, the likelihood increases. So pack that paper sectional, and brush up on that magnetic compass. You might need it.


This is more likely:

https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/s ... uperstorm/

FWIW, I'm still in training and am trying not to use the G300 gear too much since the checkride is most likely going to be charts and the circular slide rule. I have the iPad and ForeFlight but I use it to generate track logs I can review later in Google Earth (NO mercy on doing maneuvers...if you screw it up, you can tell)

foresterpoole
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:28 pm
Location: Alexandria, LA

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby foresterpoole » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:49 pm

I'll throw this your way, what happens if the government turns selective availability back on? GPS uses two separate types of signals L1 and L2, one is military the other civilian, in the past (pre-2000) the signal was intentionally scrambled. Sats in orbit launched post 2007 supposedly don't have the ability to be scrambled, but there are still older ones up there they can turn off with a simple line of code. Then there is random jamming from the government around military installations and it's becoming more commonplace. Fort Polk was conducting jamming operations for a week and the range circles extended into West Texas and most of Central Louisiana. These are no joke, I was using a Tumble unit for surveying and lost signal for 40 minutes, there was a NOTAM posted, but if I did not know via a notification, I would have had no clue and would have assumed the unit had gone bad.

Moral of my long story here, never just assume something like GPS will always be there, even in today's day and age things can change literally with the flip of a switch....
Ed

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MrMorden
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Location: Athens, GA

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby MrMorden » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:33 am

My window has never failed yet, I can always look outside to see where I should fly! :)

P.S. I do carry an Atlanta sectional (my home area) tucked under my seat. I guess if I'm away from home and lose all GPS I can always get on the radio and ask ATC for vectors and a CTAF freq to a nearby field to land at. Though I bet ATC would be pretty busy in a widespread GPS outage.... :mrgreen:
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

TimTaylor
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby TimTaylor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:09 pm

For your checkride, you need to know how to operate all the equipment on-board the aircraft.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

Wm.Ince
Posts: 726
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:27 pm
Location: Clearwater, FL

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby Wm.Ince » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:29 pm

TimTaylor wrote:For your checkride, you need to know how to operate all the equipment on-board the aircraft.

Additionally, you should be able to navigate by pilotage. That means using at least one eyeball to compare ground features against a map.
Reminds me of, "One peek out the window is worth a thousand sweeps on the radar."
The one exception I can think of is on a remote, pitch black night. :D
Bill Ince
CTSW
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

Nomore767
Posts: 899
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby Nomore767 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:40 pm

There's a difference between being the airplane operator and being the pilot. Or being an aviator.

The technology is great....until it's gone. It can and does fail. For example my RV-12 was only 18 months old when the super duper magic Dynon SkyView went tango-uniform.

Fortunately for me I was fairly close to the airfield and despite having GPS and ADSB both in and out I had developed pretty good situational awareness as to where I was with reference local landmarks and airspace. Plus I'm in the habit of monitoring airspeed and fuel burn to ensure the readings on the display are accurate.

That said I had a black screen, no navigation , no engine or systems info only the radio. The flaps are a simple handle so I was able to fly the plane set the engine rpm based on the sounds I was accustomed to and adjust airspeed based on experience and so the landing was fairly typical of a flight with everything working. Not all LSA's have pitot static standby instruments.

Moral you don't need it till you lose it, but you can still aviate and navigate if you do.

Dynon'sresponse? Oh, your plane is one of a batch with faulty memory circuits that we knew about. Just send it back and we'll replace it. Um...thanks Dynon.

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joey4420
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Location: Cincinnati Ohio

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby joey4420 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:10 am

I love technology, and I work at it daily.

I was on my check ride, on the 45 to downwind when both G3's in the Skycatcher went red X's. I didn't like that at all, the DPE looked at me and said "You know how to fly don't you?" I said "Yes", he then said "well then fly the airplane". Duh, practice is important and I did everything well enough to pass. Of course I did cycle the avionics on the ground after landing and got it working, so 2 more landings and I was a Sport Pilot. 8)
Joey
Cincinnati OH
Sport Pilot
Ercoupe N99773

TimTaylor
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:01 pm

My transition checkout in LSA included a trip around the patch with the SkyCatcher G300 turned off. It's a simple thing, but best done before it happens for real and catches you by surprise.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

foresterpoole
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:28 pm
Location: Alexandria, LA

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby foresterpoole » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:31 pm

And that's why I just like steam gauges, if something goes wrong you stand a good chance of still having partial instrumentation....
Ed

Nomore767
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Learn the Old Ways

Postby Nomore767 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:33 pm

If something goes wrong....there's still a well trained pilot.


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